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"Journey through foreign language & culture" - KGSP 2016 Letter of Self-Introduction


Eandreski 1 / 1  
Mar 7, 2016   #1
Hello Everyone,

My name is Eric and I am applying for the Korean Government Scholarship Program. I was wondering if you guys could give me some tips or advice to improve me essay. I would appreciate it a lot.

Here is what they want in the letter:
o Your course of life, your view of life, study background, your hopes & wishes, etc
o Your education and work experience, etc., in relation to the KGSP program
o Your motivations for applying for this program
o Reason for study in Korea


My essay is a bit long and I need to shorten it a bit, but I am not sure what to take out.

Ever since I was young, I have always been fascinated with foreign language and the global community. Growing up in the U.S., where you have a mix of cultures from a number of countries around the world, I was exposed to and experienced a sample of several different cultures. For example, many of my close friends form my childhood were Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Persian, Indian, etc. When I would visit my friends at their house, I had a chance to experience that culture first-hand as I heard my friends talking to their parents in their native tongue or as I enjoyed the traditional food that my friend's parents cooked for us. To me, it was such an enriching and fascinating experience. I wanted to learn more about these cultures and see what it was like to communicate with someone in a foreign language.

I started taking my first foreign languages in high school and that was when I realized my passion and talent for them. At my regular high school, I took Spanish for 4 years and during the long summers in high school, I wanted to further develop my foreign language skills, so I decided to start taking Japanese classes through a program that was offered at UC Berkeley. It turned out to be a great experience for me and those courses helped shape the path for my future studies in college.

As I reached college, I wanted to continue studying about the global community, which led me to choose International Relations as my major. Through International Relations, I was able to learn about other countries' culture and how each country interacts with one another. In addition, I continued my studies in Japanese and went on to receive a double-major in Japanese and International Relations. My first few quarters in college were a bit tough for me. A combination of living on my own, trying to adapt to college life in a completely new environment and choosing some wrong classes led to some poor academic performance that was not a true reflection of my academic ability. However, with the help of my academic counselor, my family and my friends, I was able to get back on the right track and improve my grades. After that, my grades gradually got better and I was able to finish my last quarter at UC Davis on the Dean's List, which is an accomplishment that I am very proud of even today. Furthermore, I believe that overcoming this adversity has helped me learn some things about myself and prepare me for similar situations in the future.

After graduating from college, I wanted to experience life abroad and I thought that teaching English would be a good opportunity to do that. I applied to some teaching jobs in Japan and Korea and I got hired to work at an English academy in Korea. Through teaching English and working abroad in a foreign country, I was able to learn so many valuable things about Korean culture, Korean people and some things about myself as well. First off, as a teacher, I was able to develop my public speaking and presentation skills. In addition, I learned how to manage students in a classroom and work as a team with my Korean co-teachers. Secondly, working in a Korean company, I was able to work directly with Korean people and learn about work ethics in a Korean business. Lastly, through teaching and watching my students progress, I came to admire the hard-working and diligent nature of Korean students. Furthermore, I got to see the Korean education system first-hand and appreciate the quality of it. All of my students were so eager to learn and they studied so hard. In those two and a half years of working and living in Korea, I fell in love with the culture, education system and its people.

After teaching English, I wanted to learn more about Korean culture and be able to interact with Korean people through their own language. I believed that this would be one way to really immerse myself and gain a better understanding of a culture that I fell in love with. Therefore, using the money I saved from teaching English, I enrolled in the Korean language program at the Kyunghee Institute of International Education. Already on the first day of classes, I knew that I had made the right choice. It was such a new and interesting environment for me, studying with my classmates who came from several different countries and speaking with them only in Korean. Also, many of my peers were KGSP scholars and they encouraged me to apply for the scholarship as well and continue my study in Korea. Seeing my hard-work in their classes, my teachers also encouraged me to study in Korea after I was finished with this program. Throughout my time studying at Kyunghee University, I demonstrated my dedication for learning Korean by attending all of my classes each semester and receiving the Award of Excellence for two semesters in a row. Finally, I completed the program after a year and I was chosen to give the completion ceremony speech to all of the attendees of the program.

From my experiences of working, living, and studying in Korea, I would like to pursue my masters degree there. Not only is education in Korea more affordable than other English-speaking countries, the quality if its education is also very high. From being a teacher, I experienced first-hand the quality of the Korean education system and how diligent Korean students are. Also, South Korean education ranks at the top of the list for Best Education in the World as well as top 5 in Asia for education competitiveness. Therefore, I would be honored to study in a country that offers world-class education without little financial burden. I believe that studying in an environment that is so conducive to learning and education will encourage me to study even harder and exceed my limits to keep up with the competition from my peers. Furthermore, I believe that I can contribute a lot to KGSP, in terms of passion for learning Korean, my love for Korean culture and society and my strong work ethic. As a KGSP scholar, I will work hard, dedicate myself to the scholarship and become a strong role model for current and future KGSP scholars.
justivy03 - / 2,366 607  
Mar 8, 2016   #2
Hi Eric, I reviewed your essay and here's what I found.
Your essay is yes long and more of a conversational reading than a scholarship application essay. Honestly, there is not much unique aspect in the essay that will help it stand out from the rest of the application, maybe because you are comfortable with telling your story and how you feel being in Korea and further your knowledge in a place you most cherish.

Moreover, I suggest that you change your word choice in the essay. Word such as working hard, to contribute and dedicating yourself to the institution may sound cliche and it is, for this type of essay, the competition is high and there is nothing much that you want than an essay that is well written and right to the purpose of the essay.

Now, when you do the revision, bear in mind that this scholarship is a hit or miss, you've got one shot and one shot only so put your best foot forward and should you need further assistance, we are here for you.
OP Eandreski 1 / 1  
Mar 9, 2016   #3
Hi Justivy,

I first want to thank you for taking time to review my essay and give me some insightful advice about it. I took it to heart and it was very helpful.

I did my best to change the tone of the essay and strengthen the word choice to give more substance to the content. Furthermore, I took a look at some other essays for the same scholarship and consulted some friends about other tips for writing it.

Anyway, here is my revision for the scholarship application essay:

"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart." This is one of my favorite quotes from the historical leader, Nelson Mandela, that I took to heart and that has helped guide me in life.

I was born in San Francisco, but I grew up in a small town outside of the city. My parents always taught me the importance of being self-motivated and pursuing something that you are passionate about. Ever since I was young, I have always had a passion for learning about foreign language, culture and the global community. Growing up in the U.S. helped diversify my knowledge and understanding of different cultures and inspired me to learn more about them.

M y passion and interest for foreign language and the global community led me to focus on these areas in high school and college. In high school, my best grades came from the Spanish classes I took and during the long summers in high school, I decided to utilize my time by taking Japanese classes at UC Berkeley. As I reached college, I continued my language studies through Japanese and started to focus on the field of International Relations, where I could learn more about what has motivated me since I was young. Despite a rough start in college, I was able to finish my last quarter on the Dean's List and receive a double major in International Relations and Japanese.

After graduating from college in 2011, my journey through the study of foreign language and culture brought me to South Korea and little did I know, it would become a place that I would consider a second home for me. After applying to some teaching jobs in East Asia, I got hired to work at an English academy in Korea. Working and living in Korea was like a dream come true for me. Furthermore, I fell in love with Korean culture, society, and its people. Through teaching and watching my students progress, I came to admire the hard-working and diligent nature of Korean people. In addition, I got to see the Korean education system first-hand and appreciate the quality of it. I was really touched with how much Korean people value education and how much of the culture was centered around a high standard of learning. After seeing these things, I knew that Korea was the place where I needed to study, live, work and even breathe in to be successful and achieve my goals in life.

After being an English teacher in Korea, I wanted to connect with the hearts and minds of Korean people through their native language to gain a better understanding of the culture that I fell in love with. In 2014, using the money I saved up from teaching English, I enrolled in the Korean language program at the Kyunghee Institute of International Education. Throughout the program, I demonstrated my commitment to learning Korean by not missing a single class each semester, receiving awards for excellence and giving the completion ceremony speech at the end of the program. Furthermore, I met international students from all around the world, many of whom were KGSP scholars, who informed me about the scholarship. After seeing my passion for studying Korean and my love for the culture, my teachers and peers encouraged me to continue my study in Korea after finishing the language program. Learning about the KGSP program through my Korean studies gave me hope that I would have a chance to pursue higher education in a place I came to cherish so much and it helped me realize my aspiration to pursue a Master's Degree in Global Studies with an emphasis in International Trade.

I have several reasons for why I strongly believe that Korea is the one and only place I can pursue my Master's degree. First, after experiencing the Korean education system from both viewpoints, teacher and student, I gained a deeper understanding of how remarkable it really is. If I study in Korea, I will receive a world-class education in a country that ranks at the top of the list for Best Education in the World. Studying in an environment that is so conducive to learning and education will encourage me to study even harder and exceed my limits to keep up with the competition from my peers. In addition, education in Korea is much more affordable compared to my home country and other English-speaking countries. Second, I wish to continue learning and improving my Korean language skills so that I can obtain TOPIK Level 6 in the future. Third, studying in Korea is an essential step to fulfill my goal of securing a future job at a company there. Almost all of the companies in Korea that are looking to hire international workers recruit them directly from the universities. Additionally, attending a university in Korea would give me limitless opportunities for internships with companies in Korea and job fairs that would help prepare me for a career path there. Fourth, Seoul is a huge hub for international business, commerce, and culture. It is ranked 9th in terms of the worldwide centers for commerce and 6th in the Global Financial Centres Index. Studying in a city that is so renowned for its international scene would enhance my studies by giving me great perspective for my major and thesis. Lastly, I want to become a bridge that strengthens the relationship between my country and Korea through a deeper understanding of culture and business relations. This will be mutually beneficial to both countries economically and help reduce such things as trade disputes. As a KGSP scholar, I would give back to the program that gave me a once in a lifetime opportunity, by becoming a strong role model for current and future KGSP scholars.
justivy03 - / 2,366 607  
Mar 14, 2016   #4
HI Eric, I must say, it makes our heart feel good when we know that we are able to help in our own little way. Now, going back to your essay, I believe this revision is written good. The essay was able to capture a very good reasoning on why you should be one of the KGSP scholarship recipients, however, long and very boldly paragraphed, I believe the essay showcases what you possess and what you can do, both academically and physically, to the institution.

Moreover, I understand that the KGSP scholarship is not just about academics, it's an overall understanding of the philosophy, the history and more importantly, you as a person that will soon contribute to the institution as well as to the country, not only to Korea but also to your home country and hopefully a little contribution to a better world.

I hope my insights help, I wish you the best of luck and keep writing.


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